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How volunteering led to more opportunities for Joy

One of Newground Together’s Community Project Officers shared her journey of how volunteering led to many more opportunities.
Joy Love 1

Joy Love first started volunteering with Newground Together in summer 2021. The charity, which is also a part of Together Housing Group, has many opportunities for people to give their time around community hubs and gardens.

Joy joined the team at Offshoots in Burnley, a community garden which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. She spent two hours a week, every week, supporting the team with various tasks around the garden.

After months of dedicating her time to a project she felt passionately about and gaining valuable new skills, she progressed further with the charity and landed a part-time job as a Community Project Officer.

She said: “Everyone is so willing to help everyone complete a task in a way that suits their needs. Over the years, I built friendships and networked with lots of people, building skills in woodwork, conservation, permaculture, growing plants and wildlife awareness.

“There are many opportunities at Offshoots, and all the staff are willing to help you grow in individual areas, building your confidence, improving weaknesses and increasing your strengths.”

Nearly three years after joining the team, Joy continues to build on her skills that allow her to carry out valuable community work. As part of her project roles, Joy works weekly with her team to develop another community garden called Greensleeves in the heart of the Shadsworth Estate in Blackburn.

She added: “Volunteering for Newground Together has given me more opportunities in the line of work that I have always wanted to be in. I feel it was important to surround myself with other like-minded and community focused volunteers at the time as this helped me throughout my own personal journey.

“Everyone at Offshoots, and the Newground team, are so caring, understanding and always willing to give a helping hand. It’s such a diverse and inclusive place to be where I always felt connected and accepted. If anyone is considering volunteering or is looking for an extra focus, I will always recommend looking to the communities we work in at Newground Together because there are so many incredible opportunities out there.”

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